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Logan curbs trailer-parking on Main Street, turns off electronic signs

July 30th, 2011 Posted in Opinion

By Megan Hoth

LOGAN—The Logan City Council has approved a resolution restricting parking on Main Street and put a moratorium on Electronic Message Display Signs.

The Council unanimously approved the measure prohibiting the parking of towed vehicles and unhooked trailers along the Main Street.

Council members commented that the new regulation would help maintain the aesthetic goals of the city and would also help with pedestrian and traffic safety.

Gary Saxton, a member of the Logan Downtown Alliance’s board of directors, said the Alliance was in unanimous support of this regulation. “It supports the overall vision of Logan to maintain the beautification of the city,” he said.

The Council also voted 3-2 for a temporary moratorium on new Electronic Message Display Signs (EMDs), lighted signs with scrolling and changing messages promoting a business.

During a public hearing held before the vote, citizens said the moratorium could hurt local businesses.

Mike Freeborg of Yesco Sign Company, a maker of EMD’s with a plant located in Logan, said the electronic signs have immense power to increase sales. Problems with the signs are usually a result of poor regulation, he said.

The signs’ brightness, intensity, and types of messages can be controlled and regulated, Freeborg said, and he urged the Council to review the current regulations instead of imposing a moratorium.

Councilwoman Laraine Swenson said that the moratorium had nothing to do with Yesco, and that the city supports the company. She said the issues are about the community, and not based on the fact that the city has a company in town that sells signs.

Robert Horning, a Logan citizen and software engineer who has worked on programming EMDs, agreed with Freeborg that the signs can be controlled with software, and that a ban on them is unnecessary.

“If there is a change, don’t grandfather existing signs,” Horning said. “Make it uniform across the city.”

Councilman Jay Monson said he had talked to residents, and said citizens are not necessarily against having EMDs in the community. He requested that instead of a moratorium, the staff instead look at changing current regulations.

But Councilwoman Holly Daines said a moratorium is needed to be able to reassess the current ordinances. She said that without a moratorium, businesses could continue to apply for approval of new signs, and the city would not have the ability to put the applications on hold while they looked at current restrictions.

The decision was passed 3-2 with Sweson, Daines, and Herm Olsen approving and Dean Quayle and Monson dissenting.


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